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Navy and Marine Corps Medical News 


September 22, 2000 

Navy and Marine Corps Medical News (MEDNEWS) is a weekly 
compendium of news and information contributed by commands 
throughout the Navy medical department . Information contained 
in MEDNEWS stories is not necessarily endorsed by Navy Bureau of 
Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) , nor should it be considered 
official Navy policy. 

BUMED distributes MEDNEWS to Sailors and Marines, their 
families, civilian employees and retired Navy and Marine Corps 
families. Further distribution is highly encouraged. 

Stories in MEDNEWS use these abbreviations after a Navy 
medical professional 's name to show affiliation: MC — Medical 
Corps (physician) ; DC - Dental Corps; NC - Nurse Corps; MSC - 
Medical Service Corps (clinicians , researchers and 
administrative managers) . Hospital Corpsmen (HM) and Dental 
Technician (DT) designators are placed in front of their names. 


Contents for this week's MEDNEWS: 

— Enhanced retiree dental plan on its way 

— Nurse triage system implemented at USNH Keflavik 

— NH Pensacola Sailors pack gym bags instead of sea bags 

— SHARP assistance for commands 

— Anthrax question and answer 

— TRICARE question and answer 

— Healthwatch: Why chronic dieting doesn't work 



Headline: Enhanced retiree dental plan on its way 
From TRICARE Management Activity 

WASHINGTON - The TRICARE Management Activity (TMA) and the 
selected contractor for its retiree dental program. Delta Dental 
Plan of California, announced the rollout of an enhanced dental 
program for uniformed services retirees and their family members 
beginning October 1 . 

The TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) is already the 
nation 's largest voluntary retiree dental program with nearly 
525,000 enrollees. TMA and Delta officials aim to increase 
enrollment significantly through an expansion of coverage that 
is designed to appeal to an estimated 4.2 million eligible 
retirees and family members . 

"This is a dramatic benefit expansion that responds 
directly to input received from uniformed services retirees on 

what dental benefits they want and are willing to pay for, " said 
Capt. Lawrence McKinley, USN, DC, TMA's senior consultant for 
dentistry . "The program remains voluntary with no government 
subsidy, so consideration for developing a comprehensive 
benefits package that is affordable and viable were paramount in 
the design. " 

The enhanced program includes all the basic benefits 
offered in the current basic retiree program launched two years 
ago, plus coverage for cast crowns, onlays, bridges, 
part ials /dentures and orthodontics along with several additional 
diagnostic and preventive services . 

Additionally, it includes immediate coverage for additional 
diagnostic and preventive services, coverage for dental 
accidents and an allowance toward a noncovered procedure — 
tooth-colored fillings in the back teeth, also called posterior 
composites . Coverage for some major restorative services take 
effect after a one-year waiting period for some enrollees, 
depending on the procedure and which enrollment status they fall 

The enhanced program provides a 30-day grace period during 
which an enrol lee can terminate his or her enrollment if 
dissatisfied with anything about the program, providing they 
have not filed a claim. 

If current enrollees of the basic program don 't want to 
upgrade to the enhanced program, they can still choose to remain 
in the basic program on a month-to-month basis after completing 
their initial 24-month enrollment period. 

Eligible retirees and their family members can find answers 
to their questions about the enhanced program as well as enroll 
online, 24 hours a day, using Delta's dedicated TRDP web site at In addition. Delta will be mailing an upgrade 
package to all current enrollees. Those interested in upgrading 
from the basic program can also visit the TRDP web site for 
detailed information. To upgrade or enroll in the new enhanced 
program by phone, the toll— free number is 1—888— 838— 8737 . 


Headline: Nurse triage system implemented at USNH Keflavik 
From U.S. Naval Hospital Keflavik 

KEFLAVIK, Iceland -U.S. Naval Hospital Keflavik recently 
implemented a Nurse Triage System designed to enhance access to 
care and promote health awareness through self— help treatment 
and illness prevention programs. 

The result of these practices will increase customer 
satisfaction with Navy health care and enhance health 
maintenance of more than 4000 beneficiaries at Keflavik. 

Prior to the triage system, when a patient called wanting a 
same day appointment, it was nearly impossible due to 

But now with the Nurse Triage System, when a patient calls, 
the information is routed to the triage nurse with the patient ' s 
health concern and a phone number. The triage nurse then 
receives the patient 's information and responds within an hour. 

After speaking with the patient, the triage nurse will make 

recommendations based on reported symptoms. The patient will 
then be told to either report to the Acute Care Clinic for 
immediate medical care, be scheduled a same day appointment with 
their Primary Care Manager (PCM) or be given home remedy advice. 

A follow-up telephone call is made the next day to patients 
who were given home treatment options to monitor and evaluate 
their status and make appropriate referrals as needed. 

Active duty and family members are finding that their 
immediate health care needs are being evaluated more 
expeditiously resulting in increased patient appraisal of the 


Headline: NH Pensacola Sailors pack gym bags instead of sea bags 
By JOl Maria Christina Mercado, Naval Hospital Pensacola 

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Two Sailors from Naval Hospital Pensacola 
will be heading across the bay from the home of the Atlantic 
Fleet carrying gym bags and free weights instead of seabags when 
they report aboard in October. 

LNC Renee Fuller and HM2 Christine Sternjacob will 
represent Naval Hospital Pensacola October 7, at the Armed 
Forces Body Building Competition at the Naval Shipyard in 
Portsmouth, Va. 

Both women have demonstrated discipline and dedication in 
preparation for the event that is sponsored by Morale, Welfare 
and Recreation and is open to active duty, reserve, and retired 
service members. 

The duo has followed a strict training regimen that 
includes a high protein/low carbohydrate diet, and daily 
workouts. They lift weights six days a week followed by a 
cardiovascular workout, such as running or bicycling . 

"The weight training consists of a lot of light 
repetitions, which enhance muscle definition, " said Sternjacob. 

Working with Don McKeen, a fitness coordinator with the 
Corry Fitness Center, Sternjacob and Fuller came up with a 
training routine specifically designed for each of them. Even 
their diets were specially developed so that everything they ate 
enhanced their bodies, said Sternjacob. 

After work, workouts and school, both women must practice 
their routine. According to Fuller, judging is composed of two 
sections : The symmetry round, where contestants stand beside one 
another and are judged on 13 mandatory poses and the individual 

"You get 60 seconds to get up on stage and show them what 
you've got, " said Fuller. The routine is choreographed to music 
and provides competitors the opportunity to showcase their 

"Body building is an illusion, " said Sternjacob . "During 
your routine you can turn your body a certain way to make it 
look better. Don't get me wrong, you've got to be in shape, but 
during your routine you can pose yourself in certain ways to 
make your body look even better, " she said. 

Fuller began body building in 1985 when she first joined 
the Navy. 

"I was a little stick and wanted to gain some weight, " she 
said. So the guys on her ship showed her how to train and build 
muscle. "I've worked out ever since." 

Stern jacob, a cardiovascular technician, said she has 
always been active in sports, but began bodybuilding two years 

While the team from Naval Hospital Pensacola would love to 
bring home the trophy, both women agree they are in it for fun. 

"It is my first show, " said Sternjacob. "I'll just do the 
best I can. " 


Headline: SHARP assistance for commands 

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - The Navy Environmental Health Center's 
Sexual Health and Responsibility Program (SHARP) has established 
guidelines to assist commands in meeting the requirements of 
SECNAV Notice 5300 regarding HIV training. 

SHARP is tasked to support all Navy and Marine Corps units 
in prevention and education for HIV, sexually transmitted 
diseases and unplanned pregnancy. Criteria for Navy certified 
HIV instructors can be found at the SHARP web site, 
www . nehc . med . navy . mil /hp . 

Personnel currently conducting such training or those 
interested in becoming certified instructors should contact 
SHARP or the designated SHARP Area Coordinator . A roster of area 
coordinators can also be found at the web site. 

For additional information, contact Bob MacDonald at (757) 
462-5566 or DSN 253-5566. 


Headline: Anthrax question and answer 

Question: After receiving the anthrax vaccination, is one 
able to donate a kidney or bone marrow? 

Answer: Yes. Anthrax vaccine contains no live bacteria and 
poses no safety risk. There is no bar (contraindication) 
regarding donating organs or marrow after being vaccinated. In 
fact, your bone marrow might confer temporary immunity to the 
diseases to which you are immune to the marrow recipient . 

The immune response to anthrax vaccine would have no 
adverse effect on the internal organs of the kidney or marrow 
recipient . Anthrax vaccine is a sterile product made from 
filtrates of inactivated bacterial cultures . Sterile filtration 
during manufacturing yields a vaccine containing no whole 
organisms, thereby presenting no possibility of infection to the 
recipient, whether immunodeficient or not. 


Headline: TRICARE question and answer 

Question: Does TRICARE Prime cover long-term care? 

Answer: Prime will cover long— term health care to the 
extent that CHAMPUS does today, that is, noncustodial, skilled 
care. Please discuss specific care requirements with your local 
Health Benefits Advisor. 


Headline: Healthwatch: Why chronic dieting doesn't work 
From Bureau of Medicine and Surgery 

WASHINGTON - Only five percent of all dieters will have 
maintained their weight loss at the end of one year. That 's not 
too encouraging considering the average American diets three to 
four times annually. 

Why are so many people involved in this self-defeating act? 
An obsession with thinness and the limited view that dieting 
will help you lose weight has Americans running to buy diet 
aids. But the bottom line is that diets don't work. 

The common phrase "going on a diet, " gives you the feeling 
that it is something you start but are able to quit. The thought 
of dieting makes you hungry for foods you had even forgotten 
about . 

People who diet can often lower their metabolisms enough to 
decrease their caloric need. This can be done in two ways: 
First, a diet of less than 1,000 to 1,200 calories can actually 
cause a starvation- like state and force your body to conserve 
calories. The body will cut back its caloric needs to survive. 
Therefore, you won 't lose more in the long run on a 500 calorie 
diet . This starvation state can lower the metabolism for as much 
as one year. 

Secondly, crash dieting can change the body's composition. 
Let ' s say you lost 10 pounds in two weeks. Five pounds of that 
is water, three pounds was fat and the other two pounds was 
muscle. When the weight is regained, it comes back in the form 
of fat and water. 

Every future diet can perpetuate this downward cycle of 
muscle loss; the chronic dieter may change their percentage of 
body fat over time from 25 to 40 percent . Surprisingly, the 
scale may not show large amounts of weight change. 

Muscles burn up more calories than fat and chronic dieting 
makes you lose a large percentage of what helps you keep trim. 
This yo-yo effect of losing and regaining can be hard on the 
body. It is better to never start dieting than to keep losing 
and regaining the same 10 to 20 pounds of fat. 

What helps lose and maintain weight is healthy eating 
habits and a more active lifestyle. 

Take a fresh look at your daily diet and exercise. Get rid 
of the idea that a diet is something to endure for a month after 
which you can go back to your old habits. Make short and long 
term goals to slowly change your lifestyle to include healthier 
food choices and to be more active at work and play. 

You will be healthier and happier when you give up dieting 
and will be closer to achieving a permanent weight change by 
focusing on the quality of your diet and exercise habits. 


Comments about and ideas for MEDNEWS are welcome . Story 
submissions are highly encouraged. Contact MEDNEWS editor, 
at email:; telephone 202—762—3218, 
(DSN) 762, or fax 202-762-3224.